Less than One

A groggy woman was in a restaurant with a young boy. A business man said he saw her drink a mimosa, then two glasses of wine. He was so concerned after she ran the parking lot stop sign he followed her and phoned the police that she was a drunk driver. In fact he followed her to the mall where he identified her to the police.

She was charged with three felony counts, even though her blood alcohol content was well under the legal limit. She was groggy because she had endured dental surgery. She did try a mimosa but pushed it away because it stung too much. Those goblets of white wine were actually water.

“It took nearly five months for DPS to return Wilcutt’s drug screen. Turns out, she had taken just one hydrocodone, the prescribed dosage. Meanwhile, her blood test confirmed Wilcutt’s protestations that she hadn’t been swilling wine. Blood tests are significantly more accurate than portable breathalyzers like the one police initially used. Wilcutt’s test put her blood alcohol content at 0.022 — way under the legal limit of 0.08.”

The next comment is really telling:

Chandler Police Detective David Ramer tells me that didn’t matter. A witness said she was driving badly. “

See how the story changes from driving drunk or under the influence to driving badly? And driving badly is a very broad definition so it could mean anything-like driving too close to a parked car, as happened to the next woman in the story.

Both women did eventually get the charges dropped-but it took each woman thousands of dollars and in the first case, a few years to get the charges dropped.

And there was also something else odd about these cases:

She begged me not to read too much into the police report — in the officer’s account of her field sobriety tests, she was sniffing constantly, her pulse was above normal, and she swayed. Reading that, without the results of the urine test, you might assume she was coked-up.

But that’s the thing about these reports. You can see it on Shannon Wilcutt’s, too.

Shannon Wilcutt had a 0.02 blood alcohol content, but the police report notes a “moderate” odor of alcohol on her breath.”

Apparently Illinois and Florida are not the only states to use pre written reports.

No more innocent until proven guilty. Now it’s guilty until you can prove your innocence.

Not the mark of a free society, is it?

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